No word of a lie, Kugita Seafood & Charcoal Grill in Moalboal is one of our favourite restaurants, ever. Not just in Moalboal, or the Philippines, but the world. If you ever make it to Southern Cebu, which we absolutely recommend you do, you just have to try Kugita Moalboal. If you appreciate Asian fusion cuisine expertly created by a world-class chef, you’ll definitely love Kugita.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES
WHERE IS KUGITA MOALBOAL
Moalboal is small, so no matter where you stay you won’t be far from Kugita Moalboal. It’s situated on Panagsama Rd, the main strip in Basdiot full of hostels, cafes and bars. It’s the place to be! You can follow the map below or hit this link here.
OUR EXPERIENCE AT KUGITA MOALBOAL
We had dinner at Kugita Moalboal, and despite it being a very rainy night, the ambience made up for it. Jay the chef/owner had a chat with us about the menu, as well as his experience as a chef that took him from Costa Rica and California to Siargao and finally Moalboal.
As a sushi specialist, Jay recommended we try the salmon and tempura rolls. The salmon roll was made right in front of us and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. Both suckers for salmon, it set the bar very high to start our night. We didn’t think it could get any better than that. Until the tempura roll came out. Zowie is not exaggerating when she says if she were on death row she would ask for this as her last meal. Fresh tuna perfectly fried to tempura perfection, it melted in our mouths. Do yourself a favour and order this.
After a phenomenal starter, we were excited for the main course! There are two bestsellers we recommended – the Toma Hawk Pork Chops and Charlie’s Chicken. Let’s start with the chops! Tasty and tender, the unique thing about these chops is that they’re marinated in coconut wine, locally known as tuba. The unmistakable tuba flavour is what really puts these chops a class above the rest.
If you’re a fan of truffle, you’re bound to fall in love with Charlie’s Chicken. Smothered in a distinct truffle and coconut milk sauce, with a side of local organic veggies, it’s hard to look past this dish on the menu. The chat potatoes were an especially nice touch and not something we’ve seen before in the Philippines.
We went easy on the carbs and ordered a side salad to go with our mains. Crunchy lettuce, thin slices of tender medium rare steak and an assortment of veggies, it was all tied together perfectly with a drizzle of sesame dressing. 11/10 would recommend.
We know it’s a big call to say this is one of the best restaurants we’ve ever been to, but Kugita Moalboal really is that good. With food this amazing, you’re expected to pay a little more than the local carinderia, but Kugita is still plenty reasonable! Our mains were around $10 USD each (P450) and sushi rolls will set you back about $6 (P300). Not bad for the best meal you’ll ever have.
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WHERE TO STAY IN SOUTH CEBU
Southern Cebu is where all the adventure is at, from waterfalls and whale sharks to island hopping and diving. When visiting anywhere in the south, the best place to stay is Moalboal. It has the most accommodation options, and is a fun little town with dozens of cafes, restaurants and bars. Check out our top four picks below for where to stay in Moalboal.
BUDGET/HOSTEL: CHIEF MAU
Right on the main strip of Panagsama Road you’ll find Chief Mau, a fun and social hostel that dubs itself the chillest place in town. Clean, modern and affordable, boasting a restaurant, bar and billiards, Chief Mau is a favourite amongst backpackers
MIDSCALE: ADAM’S VIEW HOTEL
Simple but with all the amenities and facilities you need – including a massive pool – Adam’s View Hotel is our top pick for those looking for a little more luxury than a backpackers. Located in the main town, Adam’s View Hotel is right next to Gaisano Mall, but still close enough to the action of Panagsama Beach to remain convenient.
LUXURY: TURTLE BAY DIVE RESORT
If you have deep pockets and an appreciation for the finer things in life, Turtle Bay Dive Resort is the place for you. Tucked away on a private cove in the quieter part of town, this luxury resort is perfect for couples looking for a little exclusivity.
AIRBNB: LRS APARTMENT
We can personally attest to how great LRS Apartment is, having spent two weeks there. Aside from a beautiful private pool, the apartment itself is modern, well furnished and spacious enough for a couple. (And a cat!) It’s just a 5 minute drive from the hustle and bustle of the restaurants and bars along Panagsama Road, but far enough away to offer a little peace and quiet. We can’t recommend LRS Moalboal enough!